Is AI Going to Prevent the Itaewon Crowd Crush from Happening Again?

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is ai going to prevent the itaewon crowd crush from happening again

In the aftermath of the heart-wrenching Halloween weekend tragedy that befell Seoul’s Itaewon area in 2022, a group of innovators from South Korea set out on a mission. Their goal: to harness the power of technology and ensure such horrific events never haunt their city again.

Meet WATA, a warehouse management startup with a difference. Armed with a blend of laser technology and artificial intelligence, they’ve concocted a recipe for crowd safety that’s nothing short of groundbreaking.

AI’s Crowd-crush Preventing Technology

WATA’s secret sauce? Lidar sensors. These little wonders can do something extraordinary – they track the ebb and flow of people in real-time. 

The wake-up call for South Korea came after the tragic events of Itaewon. In a bid to never let history repeat itself, the nation expanded its disaster management plans to include crowd surges. They recognized the need for hard data and called upon AI to help watch over their cities.

That’s where WATA stepped in. At the behest of local authorities, they’ve been keeping a vigilant eye on foot traffic 24/7 at six strategic spots, including the bustling shopping districts of Seoul. This summer, they extended their watchful gaze to the Han River-area night markets, making sure everyone’s having fun without any risks.

WATA isn’t just an observer; it’s an active participant in crowd safety. The real-time foot traffic data they collect is shared with the police, local governments, and those managing the venues through a handy app. And when the crowds start to pack in too tightly, their system sounds the alarm – quite literally – with immediate alerts to keep everyone out of harm’s way.

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Now, let’s talk numbers. WATA tells us that South Korean authorities now consider a space dangerously crowded if it houses more than six individuals per square meter. That’s a stringent measure, but it’s a reflection of how seriously they’re taking crowd safety. To put it into perspective, the density at the heart of the tragic Itaewon incident was twice that – a harrowing 12 people per square meter.

The challenge of crowd safety is a global one, and WATA knows it. They’ve set up shop in Japan and recently introduced their advanced crowd management systems there. It’s a country that knows the pain all too well, with a similar tragedy in 2001 when 11 lives were lost in a crowd surge following a fireworks show.

WATA’s approach is more than just tech; it’s a guardian angel watching over crowds, ensuring that tragedies like Itaewon remain in the past. With lasers and AI, they’re paving the way for safer, more enjoyable gatherings, one beam of light at a time.

Load More By Katherine S
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